Report: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert Relationship 'Doesn't Appear Salvageable'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2020

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) talks with guard Donovan Mitchell, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell reportedly remains "reluctant" to repair his relationship with Rudy Gobert because of the center's actions before his coronavirus diagnosis.

Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Tony Jones of The Athletic reported Friday the Jazz have started the process of trying to fix the lingering issues between their star players with minimal success.

"It doesn't appear salvageable," a source told The Athletic.

Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.

Gobert was criticized because of video footage showing him touching microphones and reporters' recording devices at the end of a press conference March 9:

Dave Fox @Davefox2

So...here is Rudy touching all the mics following Mondays shoot around that has some people concerned... #TakeNote #utahjazz #CoronaVirus https://t.co/dr4auECTr4

He tested positive for COVID-19 two days later, which played a key role in the NBA's decision to indefinitely suspend the 2019-20 season. Mitchell also tested positive.

On March 16, Mitchell said on ABC's Good Morning America"It took a while for me to kind of cool off and I read what [Gobert] said and I heard what he said, so I'm glad he's doing OK."

The Athletic report noted the Jazz are hopeful the "relationship will improve over time" and provided further details about the team's efforts to move past the problem:

"In the two travel days leading into Utah's game at Oklahoma City, Gobert and Mitchell shared space on a regular basis, sitting near each other on buses and the team plane, according to sources. Still, there's no way to know if Gobert gave it to Mitchell or if it was the other way around or some other factor. That's something the team tried to make clear to Mitchell, according to sources."

The Jazz ranked fourth in the Western Conference with a 41-23 record when the season was halted.

Utah swingman Joe Ingles told Amick on March 24 he's confident in the team's ability to rebuild chemistry if the campaign eventually resumes:

"I'm confident our team is going to be totally fine. I heard Donovan's response, or whatever it was, to that question, and a part of that is on Donovan and Rudy to sort out if he's frustrated with him or whatever. But I have no doubt when we go back to training, or when our season starts again, our team is going to be what we have been and what we are.

"I'm confident our team will be completely fine. The chemistry will be fine. Like you said, we've been known around the league to be a close bunch of guys and I believe we still are."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Monday he doesn't expect to make any decisions about the remainder of the season until at least May.